Wilhelm Photography Blog

Mario Bros Halloween 2016

 

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Super Mario Bros Halloween Costumes

Many of you know that I walk in the Halloween parade with my kids each year, and we dress in a group theme. This year, we decided to go as the Super Mario Bros gang. My kids are big fans. I still have an original Nintendo, and we play it together as well as the newer versions. I don’t understand many of the new video games. It seems like they don’t have a point. I mean, if you aren’t saving a princess, you might be wasting your time. 😉

The parts fit each of us well in terms of size. My oldest daughter made a nice tall Luigi in comparison to the short character of Mario. I make our costumes from thrift store finds and craftiness, so I was excited that Mario and Luigi would be easy to put together. I even found their hats at the thrift store which was a big relief! I just had to add some yellow buttons and mustaches- the added bonus was that their costumes were also pretty warm for the chilly parade weather.

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My middle daughter was excited to be the pretty Princess Peach after being the green wrinkly Yoda last year. She already had the light pink dress, so I added puff sleeves and the other details from a dark pink thrift store prom dress. (I really don’t know how to sew, but if I can steal pre-made pieces I can get them attached well enough.)

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So, the difficult costume was mine. As the largest of the group, I was given the task of becoming Bowser the villain of the video game series. Let me tell you…this was hard. I was very lucky to find three yellow pieces at the thrift store that fit me and made the base of this costume.

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Then came huge amounts of felt, duct tape, foam, and just about 60 snow cone cups. I had two hot glue guns running full blast and I burnt all of my fingers but 3. The shell is made from a trashcan lid that is padded and covered. My head was the real sticking point. I tore the head apart four times and thought I’d never pull it off. I started with an old bike helmet an just kept gluing. The lower jaw actually moved with my jaw (I was a bit proud of that.) I thought I did a pretty good job, but I heard one kid call me a rooster and another said, “look mom, I found a pokemon!”

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We decided to see what we would look like if we were inserted into the older versions of the game…

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If you enjoyed our Mario Bros theme this year, be sure to let us know! Shares are a Halloween treat for us so go ahead and SHARE. And if you get some video gaming time…go save the princess!

 

 

One of my favorite stories is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. For years, I have wanted to create images based on the beautiful descriptions penned by Irving. This year, I finally was able to capture my two favorite characters in the peek of autumn. Let me quickly introduce you to my two models for this project.  I feel that I need to post a regular portrait of each because both guys were kind enough to let me exaggerate their features or decapitate them all together, and they really are both too dashing to deserve such treatment. I am glad, however, that they were willing to help me bring Ichabod and the Headless Horseman to life. Thanks to both of them! They spent a considerable amount of time working with me on this. I love the characters in this book, and maybe someday I will come back to it and explore more of them.
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For the rest of my blog I will let Washington Irving quotes show you what inspired me with these images…

 

“The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weather-cock, perched upon his spindle neck, to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.”

“thus going the rounds of the neighborhood, with all his worldly effects tied up in a cotton handkerchief.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“The school-house stood in a rather lonely but pleasant situation just at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running close by, and a formidable birch tree growing at one end of it.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow-lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burthened with ruddy fruit,”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“On all sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“He was a kind and thankful creature, whose heart dilated in proportion as his skin was filled with good cheer; and whose spirits rose with eating as some men’s do with drink. He could not help, too, rolling his large eyes round him as he ate, and chuckling with the possibility that he might one day be lord of all this scene of almost unimaginable luxury and splendor.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“He was, moreover, esteemed by the women as a man of great erudition, for he had read several books quite through…

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

 

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“…and was a perfect master of Cotton Mather’s history of New England Witchcraft, in which, by the way, he most firmly and potently believed.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been increased by his residence in this spellbound region. No tale was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow.”

“Another of his sources of fearful pleasure was, to pass long winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by the fire, with a row of apples roasting and spluttering along the hearth, and listen to their marvellous tales of ghosts and goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted brooks, and haunted bridges, and haunted houses, and particularly of the headless horseman, or galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes called him. ”

“But if there was a pleasure in all this, … it was dearly purchased by the terrors of his subsequent walk homewards. What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night!”

“How often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being tramping close behind him!”

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“Local tales and superstitions thrive best in these sheltered long-settled retreats…”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“It was the very witching time of night that Ichabod, heavy-hearted and crest-fallen, pursued his travel homewards, along the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry Town, and which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon. The hour was dismal as himself.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“Over a deep black part of the stream, not far from the church, was formerly thrown a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom about it, even in the daytime; but occasioned a fearful darkness at night. This was one of the favorite haunts of the headless horseman; and the place where he was most frequently encountered.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the wings of the wind.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

“Just then he saw the goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him.”

Sleepy Hollow comes to life in photos

I am probably not finished perfecting any of these, but projects like this never feel perfect enough when I am working on them. This was definitely a tricky  project. I especially wrestled with the edit where I decided to play with a bit of an optical illusion with the trees- I wanted to see my horseman without spacial boundaries. I am not sure that I am comfortable with that, but I didn’t want to wimp out on posting it. Even as I post this, I already see things I want to retry, but its time had come. If you have never read the original work, I encourage it. I read it every fall.

If you love this story too, leave a comment! I hope this added some magic to the end of your autumn.


Untitled-5The plan for me and my kids each Halloween is to enter the town parade as a group. This year it rained on our parade- literally. We had a back-up plan and shared our costumes at a local nursing home instead. Fortunately, I also get to share my costume work with you. So, thanks for joining me and for the your comments and shares so far.

This year, we went for a Star Wars theme. My son and I are characters specifically from Episode 1. Before the Star Wars die hards tell me how awful the prequels are, let me just say that I like the original three best. Let’s face it, they had Harrison Ford. That is all the argument I need. It also means that the next movie will be just fine too. 😉

I knew it was going to be tricky to make costumes this year. I usually put together a homemade combination of thrift store finds and my add-ons. This year had some surprises.

I was Queen Amaidala

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I was actually going to cheat and buy my costume this year. I ordered from Amazon, but there was a mix-up and when it came it was a child’s medium. Reordering would have been a waste since when I saw the costume it was just a thin cheap dress with cuffs at the sleeves and one decorative sash. I knew I’d never be happy with that. I found a red bride’s maid dress at the thrift store for $4.99 and I went to work chopping away anything I could save from the kid costume. The rest was made from large pieces of red felt (left over from last year’s hook costume) and more hot glue than has ever been worn before (I am not much for sewing.) 

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But really, let’s talk about the hair. I almost gave up on this costume twice. My first attempt at the hairpiece for this costume is in the trash. Long story short there is a styrofoam wreath form broken in half with a pool noodle that has been scored and cut into about fifteen pieces duct taped around it. I then spray painted the entire thing black and started cutting apart cheap black wigs and carefully wrapping and gluing the hair tracts around my noodle form. All in all, three wigs died in the making of this. Compared to that, the make-up was easy. It is just the  “mime who got lazy with the lip stick” look.

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I chose the Queen because I knew my son was a naturally convincing young Anakin Skywalker. It wasn’t hard to get him suited up as a pod racer.

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This was another thrift store and spray paint project, but it went together easily.

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He wanted me to make a pod-racer, but I told him the force wasn’t with me on that one.

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What would Star Wars be with out Yoda?

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I am pretty proud of my pretty little girl for being a aged green guy this year. Sure he is a master of the Force, but that it not the most convincing argument for a girl who like princess dress-ups.

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Getting to have a lightsaber helped convince her. And once she saw the finished look she was totally onboard.

~When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not~

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Next we have this kid. Actually, this is not a kid. We went back and forth between who would be R2-D2. I couldn’t imagine pulling off a costume that would be easy to move in let alone comfortable. So, we built this guy and put him on wheels so he could be a companion for C-3PO.

He is rough looking, but again this is just a trash can covered in duct tape, spray paint and more duct tape. His light does work though!

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I think I am most proud of my C-3PO costume.

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Except for the $5 mask, this is all thrift store finds and random things like lids, buttons, and string all spray painted.

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Her teeth showing through make me giggle every time.

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That is our Star Wars adventure! Thanks for joining us since our parade was rained out. If you liked this, please share it! And may the force be with you!

The holiday seasons are in full swing, and in one ridiculous blog I will get you in the mood for Halloween, Thanksgiving/Black Friday, and Christmas. How can this be accomplished in one photo shoot you ask? I dress up for Halloween as the Christmas loving Crazy Target Lady that shops Target’s two-day sale starting Thanksgiving night!

For those of you who don’t know me well, I’d like to start out with a photo of me looking normal before I forever destroy your opinion of me. See? Normal.

Tonya Wilhelm- Owner of Wilhelm PhotographyIf you aren’t familiar with Target’s Crazy Lady Commercials, you are missing out. She is a Christmas fanatic that goes berserk over the Target two-day sale which starts immediately following Thanksgiving.You can check YouTube for some of the commercials she starred in. They used her for three years, and now she is retired. Sigh. She was hilarious.

These photos will make much more sense if you know the motivation behind them so if you need to brush up on your Target commercials here are a few of my favorites:

So here is my rendition of the Crazy Target Lady. I hope you laugh as much as I did making these!

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Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

So many of you might be wondering how Target felt about me shooting on location…Here I am with the manager who asked me to take this photo. I did not know him prior to this session. He was also kind enough to let me borrow a shopping cart to walk in our local Northumberland Parade.  And, of course, during parade the number one question shouted at me was “Did you steal the shopping cart?”

Crazy Halloween Costume: Crazy Target Lady by Wilhelm Photography

A few funny notes about my photo shoot… I bought this dress at Goodwill for less than $5 and added the accessories, but it is a tad small. I popped the zipper doing sit ups on the ball which was pretty funny. I also can’t raise my arms much higher than the photo above.  And ,in case you wondered, I didn’t bolt immediately after shooting this. I finished my shopping and then left.

Thanks to Target and its customers for putting up with my Halloween dress-up ordeal- I had a blast. Long live the crazy target lady commercials!

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